6 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Desk

It might not sound all that important, but having a clean and organized workspace is absolutely key for productivity. And what better time to set yourself up for the spring and summer months than right now. Here are a few key steps for making your space work-conducive and clutter-free.

1. Actually clean it.

Step one should absolutely be removing everything from your desk, and wiping it down with a disinfectant. Think about the last time you did that, really think about it. Odds are you'll be horrified by how long it's been and how many germs are likely occupying your space with you.

2. Set up a filing system.

Of course it's tempting to take all that errant paperwork and throw it into cabinets and drawers, but that just leads to more work later on. Set up a system to organize and file your paperwork. Go through your files, make sure you need everything you're saving and make properly labeled folders for things like insurance, taxes, pay stubs. This will make your life endlessly easier.

3. Throw things away.

Similarly, don't hang onto things that you don't use, don't need, and will never use or need. Shred unnecessary paper documents but also get rid of desk tchotchkes and pictures that don't bring you any joy. No need to have your space cluttered with things you don't actually love.

4. Clean your desktop too.

While you're at it, organize your desktops. If you're anything like the average human it's overflowing with downloaded files, unsorted word docs, open tabs, and lots of dog gifs. Take a few minutes and just get things in order. Your computer will thank you for it.

5. Make an emergency kit.

Set up a drawer in your desk that has a few of the items that you're always looking for but never can find when you need them — Advil, contact lenses, eye drops, granola bars, a lint roller. Whatever it is that you routinely want while at work, put it in the emergency kit.

6. Treat yourself.

Once your workspace is clean and clear, treat yourself. Buy flowers for your cubicle or a new desk accessory. Something pretty to commemorate the moment, and hopefully inspire you to keep your workspace as organized as it is right now.